Photo: Flickr / MarcinMonko
The reputation of for-profit universities is about to get even worse.The National Bureau of Economics just released a working paper that says there are no real benefits to getting a degree/certificate from for-profit schools. Their students, who are far more disadvantaged than traditional school peers, earn less income when and if they enter the workforce.
There isn’t a clear reason why, but authors Kevin Lang and Russell Weinstein say students’ backgrounds might have something to do with it.
Most for-profit certificate and Associates Degree students tend to be Black and Hispanic, not speak English as their first language, and drop out of high school.
What’s more, for-profit certificate students start out with about $5,500 less in income than not-for-profit/public peers, while for-profit Associates Degree students start with $3,000 less, another sign they have a long ways to go before they break even on their pricey investment.
In analysing length of enrollment and whether a for-profit school’s location in a poor market labour would affect job prospects, the authors found that neither of these things made a difference in a for-profit students’ success. If anything, the lower return on investment just reflects how these graduates are perceived in the workforce and are being prepared for the real-world.
Check out the table below to see how for-profit students stack up against their peers: